Monday, 04 December 2023

Firefighters contain Mendocino Lightning Complex

MENDOCINO COUNTY – After nearly a month of firefighting, smoky skies and more than 50,000 acres scorched, the Mendocino Lighting Complex was fully contained Thursday evening.

Theresa McNerlin, public information officer for the county of Mendocino, reported just after 8 p.m. that the 53,300-acre fire had reached 100-percent containment.

The complex of 129 fires was sparked by dry lightning storms beginning June 20, as Lake County News has reported. Suppression costs are now estimated at $44.1 million.

The fires had triggered evacuations in numerous parts of the county, and destroyed one home and one outbuilding.

During the weeks of firefighting, one Anderson Valley firefighter died from respiratory distress, and another 45 were injured, according to Cal Fire.

When containment was announced Thursday, 2,088 fire personnel were still assigned to the complex – including 340 “overhead” or leadership positions – along with 119 engines, 63 fire crews, 10 helicopters, 45 water tenders, 18 dozers and one fixed-wing aircraft, Cal Fire reported.

Officials reminded residents that despite containment, smoke and flareups could occur within the complex's containment lines. Several weeks of patrolling all the fire areas – from the air and the ground – will continue in an effort to extinguish hot spots.

For information about other fires around the state, visit

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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